Being a retro game blog, we’re always late to the party. That has its perks: now that the heat is dying down on GamerGate, perhaps we can understand it better as a cultural phenomenon, and particularly Anita Sarkeesian’s analysis of videogames, from a more objective perspective. What interests us is why the “feminists VS gamers” debate and Sarkeesian’s analysis of videogames have gained so much traction in mainstream media.
There are a number of problems with the media’s approach to these issues which we’ll get into, but let’s have a disclaimer right here. We definitely don’t endorse or intend here to defend the behaviour of the people who have, for whatever reason, decided that sending death threats and the like to other people is normal and somehow justifiable – especially over something dumb like videogames. The personal campaign waged against Sarkeesian is utterly irrelevant at best and malicious, sadistic and cruel at worst. If you don’t like the ideas someone espouses, come up with better ideas and present them, better. Personal attacks make the attacker look bad, petty, and morally and intellectually bankrupt, not the other way round. That’s why this post isn’t about criticising Sarkeesian on a personal level and instead considers Sarkeesian’s feminist approach to videogames in a specific political and cultural context. Continue reading